So now it’s happened, the self-proclaimed leading developer of premium sound and home integration technologies, Sound United LLC. with brands such as Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technologie, Classé, Bowers & Wilkins and Boston Acoustics becomes a subsidiary of Masimo Corporation.
It was a news item that caused quite a stir when it was announced in February of this year that the Sound United LLC. group was for sale and was about to be taken over by Masimo Corporation. A particularly exciting aspect of this takeover is that Masimo Corporation has so far had nothing whatsoever to do with consumer electronics, but is rather regarded as a specialist in medical technology. Moreover, and this is another interesting point, Sound United LLC. was itself a company that collected brands eagerly, after all, it was not long ago that Sound United LLC. took over the D&M Group and with it brands such as Denon, Marantz and HEOS, and the acquisition of Bowers & Wilkins also happened only recently. In the meantime, there were even plans to take over other established Japanese brands such as Pioneer and Onkyo, although, as is well known, nothing came of this in the end.
Sound United LLC. considers itself a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC. but now stood as a takeover candidate itself, though this has now been completed, as announced by new owner Masimo Corporation.
Masimo Corporation – A Californian medical technology company
As described, Masimo Corporation is a medical technology company that was founded in 1989 and today, with its headquarters in Irvine, is considered first and foremost a specialist in analytical devices.
It is the new owner of Sound United LLC. and thus of brands such as Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technologie, Classé, Bowers & Wilkins and Boston Acoustics.
Sound United LLC. will operate as a division of Masimo Corporation under its current management from its headquarters in Carlsbad, California, according to a statement.
However, exactly what Masimo Corporation hopes to gain from this acquisition may not be obvious to many at first.
“We are excited to add Sound United’s high-quality technology, established consumer channels and well-known brands to Masimo’s broad portfolio of medical solutions for hospitals and homes. We believe Masimo’s expertise in advanced signal processing, biosensing and photonics, combined with Sound United’s audio and home automation technologies, will provide natural yet non-intuitive solutions to people around the world at home and in hospitals. Masimo will leverage Sound United’s consumer channel expertise to accelerate sales of the combined company’s growing portfolio of consumer-facing healthcare products. We welcome the incredibly talented and dedicated teams from Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, HEOS, Definitive Technology, Classé and Boston Acoustics to Masimo.”Joe Kiani, founder and CEO of Masimo Corporation
Focus on global distribution network
From Masimo Corporation’s point of view, then, it is first and foremost Sound United LLC.’s worldwide distribution network in the consumer segment that seems particularly exciting for the new owner.
Conversely, in the course of the takeover, Sound United LLC. is above all endeavouring to dispel any doubts, at least that is how the corresponding statement from the consumer electronics group reads on the occasion of the announcement of the conclusion of the takeover by Masimo Corporation.
“As we continue to identify growth opportunities by leveraging the strengths and resources of both companies, we want to express our ongoing commitment to our loyal customers who rely on Sound United brands to drive their businesses forward with best-in-class solutions and forward-thinking innovations. We believe Sound United is the ideal partner for Masimo to enhance and enrich consumer healthcare.”Kevin Duffy, CEO of Sound United LLC.
Getting to the point
Ultimately, it is clear that it is irrelevant whether a conglomerate of brands, such as Sound United LLC, is backed by an investment company or a medical technology specialist. Both have little or nothing to do with the brands themselves and certainly not with the products. As long as the individual divisions can operate as independently as possible, everything would be fine and the future of these brands would be secured. Only the future will show whether this is the case…